Morning News Monday, Nov 12th
TODAY IS the observance of VETERANS DAY, A NAT'L HOLIDAY, all state & Federal offices ARE CLOSED.
Local Mendocino vote counts are only "preliminary" because only 18,577 votes were counted on election night, barely more than half of the total votes cast.
REGISTRAR OF VOTERS Susan Ranochak announced that her office was sitting on 17,795 vote-by-mail ballots, including 1,029 provisional ballots. Approximately 1,608 of the ballots are from the Fort Bragg, which represents double the 805 ballots counted on election night.
In Willits, the outstanding ballots number about 836, almost as many as the 860 tallied so far. And in Point Arena, there are another 95 uncounted ballots, while only 88 were counted election night. Under state law the Registrar’s Office has 28 days to certify the election and produce the final results.
But it's not just Mendocino in this situation. Statewide there are 3,334,495 ballots to count.
A new retirement tier for county employees will be considered by the Mendocino Board of Supervisors tomorrow as part of an effort to comply with new state law.
Gov. Brown signed legislation enacting the Public Employees Pension Reform Act (PEPRA), effective in January 2013. A working group will give the board an overview of PEPRA and outline the "required sequence of actions prior to January 1, 2013."
All of the bargaining groups that negotiate on behalf of county employees have already agreed to implement a new tier.
Under PEPRA , the county could have a 50/50 sharing arrangement for "normal costs for current employees-- a change that would need to be negotiated with the county's employee unions.
For existing employees who are already members of the retirement system, PEPRA would require the retirement board to define pensionable income and prohibit "retroactive benefit enhancements."
PEPRA also increases retirement age and reduces the pension formula for new employees.
The meeting begins at 1:30 p.m. in the Mendocino Administration Center, 501 Low Gap Road, in Ukiah.
In response to the superior Court's intention to cut hours and services at Ft Bragg's Ten Mile Court, Mendocino's DA David Eyster has issued a statement criticizing the move.
“ I am ADAMANTLY opposed to what the judges are proposing for Fort Bragg. Any minor cost savings realized from the Ten Mile court is literally being transferred to the wallets of coastal residents and coastal law enforcement if this goes through.
More than ever coasties will have to make MORE treks over the hill to Ukiah, costing victims and witnesses time and $ and leaving less police officers to protect coastal public safety — while they travel back and forth to and hang out in the Ukiah courthouse."
Eyster cited the proposed multi-million dollar new courthouse and the appointment of two new highly paid judges as examples of other places to cut costs.
He concluded: " The court’s office telephone is 463-4664 M-F. Please be polite but let Judge Henderson and his colleagues know that this is Ukiah-centric and a bad plan.”
After 20 months of work, the Frank Grasse Dog Park on Commercial Street just west of the Willits Skate Park opened officially Friday at 1 p.m. with Willits City Councilwoman Holly Madrigal, and Frances Grasse, the widow of beloved local veterinarian Dr. Frank Grasse. Presiding.
The Willits City Council voted in October 2011 to allow volunteers to build the park on city-owned land.
Future plans for the park include planting more trees, installing a large water trough where dogs can get wet on hot days, and building a rain/shade shelter. Volunteers will be fencing in a special area where "small and old dogs" can play safely.
Dog park T-shirts are available at East Hill Veterinary Clinic and The Book Juggler; where there are also donation cans.